Sian Regan, Development Officer for the NSPCC in Wales, shares how their Welsh speaking volunteers have helped them enhance and broaden their service.
Everyone who comes into contact with children and young people has a responsibility to keep them safe. At the NSPCC, we help individuals and organisations to do this.
Volunteers are the beating heart of the NSPCC. Without them, we couldn’t help the children who need us. There are a wide range of opportunities for volunteering at the NSPCC. Speak Out Stay Safe is one example of our services where volunteers are crucial. Speak out Stay safe is a safeguarding programme for children aged 5- to 11-years-old. It is available to all primary schools in Wales.
To ensure that we can reach as many children as possible across Wales with the important messages included in the programme, it’s vital that we recruit and train volunteers to deliver our Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies and workshops in both Welsh and English.
The programme helps children understand:
- abuse in all its forms and how to recognise signs of abuse
- that abuse is never a child’s fault and that they have the right to be safe
- where to get help and the sources of help available to them, including our Childline service.
We have several dedicated and passionate Welsh-speaking volunteers who can deliver Speak Out Stay Safe in Welsh-medium schools, ensuring that more children can receive the programme in their first language and language of education.
We are always keen to recruit more volunteers with Welsh language skills to help us to reach our goal of keeping more children safe. We have worked with the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Hybu Team, and have promoted our volunteering opportunities to Welsh speakers in several ways including:
- Making sure our recruitment materials are available bilingually, and adding the orange Cymraeg logo
- Holding stands at events such as the Eisteddfod and Eisteddfod yr Urdd
- Promoting our work through Welsh-language media
- Targeting organisations such as Mentrau Iaith, Welsh departments at universities and FE colleges, Welsh teaching unions etc with a mailout about our opportunities for Welsh-speakers.
All our volunteers can access training through the Work Welsh programme run by the National Centre for Learning Welsh.
We will continue to promote our opportunities for volunteering through the medium of Welsh to help us protect a generation of children by teaching them how to speak out and stay safe if they need help.